Rays Defeat Twins 11-4, Look For Sweep On Sunday

Rays Tie Franchise Single Game Record With Six Homers

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Photo Credit: @Raysbaseball Twitter

St. Petersburg, FL – The Tampa Bay Rays hit a franchise tying single-game record six home runs in defeating the Minnesota Twins 11-4 on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field. The victory improves the Rays record to 86-50 and coupled with the New York Yankees loss to the Baltimore Orioles they increase their lead in the AL East to 7.5 games.

Chris Archer (1-1, 5.28 ERA) earned his first win of the season completing five innings. It was his first win since June 6, 2019 while with the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Atlanta Braves. He struggled with his command allowing four earned runs on four hits while striking out three, walking four, one wild pitch, and two homers. He threw 78 pitches with 46 for strikes.

Archer wobbled a bit in the fourth inning but told Kevin Cash after the fourth inning that he felt good and with the big lead was allowed to go out and work the fifth inning. “We felt it was kind of a box he needed to check.” Cash said. “See if we could push him to get out there and do that, he did. Another step in the right direction.”

Getting through five innings was important to Archer. “I want to provide length, I think that’s one thing I can give this team and quality length.” He said. “My breaking ball wasn’t quite as good there toward the end, but throwing 78 pitches, completing five. It was huge going forward, we still have a lot of baseball left and if I can provide length it’s going to bode well for everybody.”

The big lead enabled Archer to be more aggressive. “The fact that our guys put up that many runs, that really I just felt like I could challenge hitters.” He said. “Obviously I walked more than I wanted to but it just gave me confidence to go out there and push the pitch count to 78 which is the most I’ve thrown in a long time.”

Dietrich Enns worked the final three innings to pick up his first career save. He becomes the 13th different pitcher to record a save for the Rays. The 13 different players to record a save in the regular season is a new MLB record for most players to record a save for a team in a single season. Tampa Bay had a share of the record after having 12 different players register a save in the 2020 regular season.

Kevin Cash was very complimentary to the pitchers as well as others in the organization for developing and acquiring the pitchers he can use in so many ways. “It’s a credit to all those guys. It’s a credit to the amount of quality pitchers we know we can rely on in different save situations.” Cash said. “We’re fortunate that we have so many quality pitchers. Our front office, organization has done such a good job of developing and acquiring guys that we have confidence to throw out there in those rolls so good for all of them, for everybody that’s kind of played a hand in that, that’s pretty special.”

Andrew Albers (1-1, 7.30) takes the loss for Minnesota who fall to 58-77. Albers was roughed up for nine runs, all earned, on 10 hits while striking out two, walking one, a balk, and allowing four home runs.

Tampa Bay wasted no time against Twins lefty Andrew Albers scoring a pair of runs in the first. Randy Arozarena ended an 0-for-11 skid by tripling to lead off the game and scored on Wander Franco‘s RBI single. Nelson Cruz flied out to right and Franco tagged up to second to get into scoring position. The hustle paid dividends as Yandy Diaz drove in Franco with a single to give the Rays an early 2-0 lead.

The Rays extended their lead in the second to 7-0 in the second inning scoring five runs with 2-out. Randy Arozarena singled and moved to third on Wander Franco‘s double. Andrew Albers was called for a balk scoring Arozarena. After a long and spirited debate the rails came off for Albers. He fell behind Nelson Cruz 3-0 before issuing the intentional walk. Yandy Diaz followed with a 3-run homer to give the Rays a 6-0 lead. It was Diaz’s 10th homer in his last 58 games after not homering in his first 62 games and 201 at-bats. Jordan Luplow followed Diaz with a homer of his own to extend the Rays lead to 7-0. The homer was his second with Tampa Bay and marks the fourth time this season the Rays have hit back-to-back home runs.

“Yandy is just a professional hitter. Very impressive hitter, that knows what his strengths are if he gets a pitch to cut it loose.” Kevin Cash remarked after the game. “He’s got plenty of power, he’s so complete sometimes as a hitter he knows there’s hits the other way and he’ll commit himself that way as well.”

Manuel Margot lead off the third inning belting his 10th homer of the year extending the Rays lead to 8-0. With 2-out, Randy Arozarena homered, his 19th of the season, to extend the lead to 9-0.

The Twins cut the lead to 9-2 in the fourth inning on a groundout RBI from Max Kepler scoring Jorge Polanco who had led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Miguel Sano hit a loud 444-foot homer that left the bat at 111.6 miles per hour.

Tampa Bay answered right back in the home half of the fourth scoring twice on solo home runs by Nelson Cruz and Brandon Lowe. It was Cruz’s 27th homer and Lowe’s 32nd on the year. Lowe’s homer was the 6th home run hit by the Rays tying the single game mark (5x) in franchise history. It’s the first time they’ve hit six in a game at Tropicana Field. The last time they hit six homers in a game was in Baltimore in the second game of a doubleheader on July 13, 2019. It’s the first time that six different Rays have homered in a single game.

Jorge Polanco hit a 2-run 2-out homer in the top of the fifth inning to cut the Rays lead to 11-4.

Shawn Armstrong worked a scoreless sixth inning in relief of Chris Archer. Dietrich Enns entered the game in the seventh inning. He worked the final three innings to record his first MLB save.

Franco Extends On-Base Streak:

Wander Franco returned to the Rays lineup after missing Friday night’s game. He immediately extended his on-base streak to 34-games in his first plate appearance driving in Randy Arozarena with a single. The 34-game on-base streak is the third longest by a player 20 years old or younger. He trails only Frank Robinson (43 games) with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956 in and Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees (36 games) spanning 1951-1952. It’s the third longest streak by a player of any age in Rays franchise history behind Johnny Damon (39 games) in 2011 and Ben Grieve (37 games) in 2001. It’s the longest such streak by a rookie of any age since Hanley Ramirez (36 games) in 2006.

Update On Injured Rays:

Matt Wisler through a 24-pitch bullpen and is en route to Durham today to join the Bulls in his continued rehab from a middle finger injury. Ji-Man Choi and Brett Phillips are playing at the Florida Complex League in a doubleheader today. Choi is rehabbing his hamstring and is penciled in to be at 1b/DH in both games while Phillips is scheduled to DH. Kevin Cash anticipates that each player will be with the team when they depart for their upcoming road trip to Boston and Detroit, although neither may be immediately activated for Monday’s game in Boston.

Up Next For Rays:

The Rays and Twins finish their weekend series Sunday afternoon at 1:10 pm with Tampa Bay looking for the sweep. Luis Patino (4-3, 4.24 ERA) will take the mound for the Rays. The Twins counter with right handers Griffin Jax (3-3, 6.71 ERA). Patino made his last start on Monday against the Red Sox and recorded the win after allowing 1-run in 5.2-innings. He seems to be pitching well getting an extra day of rest. “You’re not always going to have that [extra day] availability so that can’t be a crutch, but I do think Luis has made the most of it.” Kevin Cash said. “The work day between starts, as much as any pitcher – any starter, we are seeing the adjustments from one start to the next because of the work day that’s allowed him that he’s been able to put into the game that day.”

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